Best Dressed: Oscar's 2013

Monday, February 25, 2013
From the minute Jennifer Lawrence stepped onto the Oscar's red carpet I knew who my best dressed of the night would be! What's so ironic is that just last week I had to draw this very Christian Dior Haute Couture gown for a magazine editorial (its yet to be released but I did Instagram this sneak peek a few days ago,) and I fell in love with this dress. I even got into a discussion with the Fashion Director about the fabulousness of this gown when I dropped my sketches off at the magazines office. Its not just the dress alone though, Jennifer's entire look was beautifully flawless. The Chopard jewels, the modern twist of a delicate necklace falling to the back, the up swept do, the jeweled bag, it was all perfection and made quite a memorable Oscars look for the new face of Dior and Oscar winning it-girl.
(Sally Field in Valentino, Kerry Washington in Mui Mui, Amy Adams in Oscar de la Renta, Jenna Dewan in Gucci, Stacy Keibler in Naeem Khan, Charlize Theron in Dior, Georgina Chapman in Marchesa, and Octavia Spencer in Tadashi Shoji) 
Although Jennifer was hands down my favorite of the night many were looking red carpet chic. I was blown away by Sally Field in a dramatic ruffled Valentino. Charlize Theron was stunning in a white beaded peplum gown by Dior Haute Couture. And last but not least I loved Octavia Spencer in her go-to designer Tadashi Shoji. Her dress was so ethereal and luminescent, and that buttery tulle against her skin was beautiful. I just loved it.

Who was your best dressed? If you somehow missed the Oscars (which I couldn't imagine!) you can check out WWD for more red carpet looks from Hollywood's most fashionable night.

Costume Design: The Academy Collection

(Marilyn Monroe by Dorothy Jeakins) 
If you tuned into last night's Academy Awards arrivals you probably spotted the large costume sketches along the entire red carpet. Many were iconic sketches by legendary costume designer Edith Head but others were not as recognizable. I quickly jumped onto the Oscars website and found a bunch of costume designers sketches featured from the Oscar's official "Academy Collection." The sketch shown above is from the 1960 film Let's Make Love, which was Marilyn Monroe's second-to-last film.
(Liza Minnelli by Theadora Van Runkle) 
I'm always impressed by how well costume designers can truly capture characters features and personalities in their costume illustrations, its something I try to achieve with my custom bridal illustrations. This next costume sketch (above) is a example of that. Its of Liza Minnelli playing the part of Francine Evans in Martin Scorsese's 1977 musical New York, New York.
(Elizabeth Taylor by Helen Rose) 
This last costume design sketch just may be my favorite. The pose, the gown, and the overall rendering is simply beautiful. This classic old Hollywood illustration is of Elizabeth Taylor by costume designer Helen Rose for the 1954 MGM film Rhapsody. The rendering of the draping on this gown is stunning.

(All illustrations from The Academy Collection. Check out more costume sketches from the Academy Collection here.)


Thursday, February 14, 2013
Happy Valentines Day to you, all my lovely Fabulous Doodles readers! And thank you for all the love and support you send me (via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) all year long. XOXO, Brooke

Designer Fashion Illustrations {NYFW Fall 2013}

Sunday, February 10, 2013
Here in New York we're in throws of Fashion Week, which to me means designer sketch time. Ever since my college days a major highlight of NYFW has been when the trade paper Women's Wear Daily shares designer sketches and the inspirations behind the collections. I used to have to hunt down the illustration issues, but now everything is shared online. (Am I dating myself here?!)

Its always fun to pick my favorites to feature here on Fabulous Doodles and the Rachel Zoe sketch (shown above) was a no brainer. She's actually the only designer I'm showing again from last season's picks. What I love about this fashion illustration is that the pose is playful and unique, being a profile with a kicked up leg. The illustration is also stylized but not cartoonish or unsophisticated, and is wonderful example of rendering textures.
This Pamella Roland sketch is unique because the illustrator went with a very stoic profile pose. You don't see profile silhouettes too often because they're difficult to read and really see the garment designs, but that is not the case here. Its a lovely sketch of a beautiful gown.
As you may know my previous NYFW season reviews, I absolutely love illustrations done on craft and construction papers like the Oscar de la Renta sketch (shown above.) The floral pattern, which I'm pretty sure to have been photoshopped or cut and pasted on top is beautiful and I think the mix of white charcoal with pen and/or gauche is a really nice effect on the dark paper base. Highlighting around the croquis is something many designers choose to do, and its interesting to see how the de la Renta and Rachel Roy illustrations both have it but so differently, one in white and the other with heavy marker and conte crayon.
This Wes Gordon illustration is a little more abstract than the others I've chosen this season. I really like the watercolored work and the the overall feel of the illustration makes a nice visual. For more designer sketches straight from the New York collections head over to WWD (that's part one, here's part 2 & part 3.) Which designer made your favorite sketch? Are there any you absolutely loved that you think should have been included here?

(These illustrations were all created by the designers and their design houses, featured on Women's Wear Daily.)

New Bride Fashion Illustration Prints

Friday, February 8, 2013
Last week I finally added some new bridal fashion illustration prints to Brooklit Bride, my etsy wedding illustration shop. Often when I'm stuck in a creative rut or have come to a roadblock on a project I'll take a break and sketch something different to inspire me and get the pencil moving. Last week I went through my sketchbook and realized I had a bunch of new brides in there ready to be scanned at added to the shop. Molly (shown above) is my favorite of the new girls. She was inspired by a recent New York Magazine Weddings cover I admired where the bride was wearing a cozy sweater. Adding to the casual and sexy off the shoulder sweater I gave her a messy bun and nerd-chic glasses, then juxtaposed her look with a sleek skirt and pretty bouquet.
The next bride is drawn in a classic a-line tulle gown with a beaded waistband and draped sweetheart neckline. She ended up looking so poised and regal that I gave her the name Grace after Grace Kelly, Princess of Monaco.
Penny here (shown above) is a Pinterest inspired bridal illustration. I recently started a "Sketchable Headshots" board featuring women with beautiful faces and sketch worthy hair styling and accessories. Penny, with her floral headband and pretty pout were taken right from this inspiration board. For her dress I kept it simple and modern with floral lace details to compliment the bohemian vibe of her headband and named her Penny after one of my favorite boho movie characters, Penny Lane from Almost Famous.
And last but not least is an elegant bride I've named Mia wearing a dropped waist tiered gown with lace applique trim at the neckline, waist and tier hems. Her hair is in a traditional updo with a chunky bangs for a modern (and First Lady) twist.

All these new bridal prints are available in my bridal shop, Brooklit Bride and the wallpapers featured are all from Graham & Brown.

Fashion Illustration Books {Brooke Hagel}

Thursday, February 7, 2013
I'd like to share the first two fashion illustration books I've illustrated! They are part of a new instructional series by Capstone Publishing called "Fun Fashions You Can Sketch" and as of February 1st they're out and available on Amazon for purchase.
Harajuku Style: Fun Fashions You Can Sketch, showcases Tokyo's Harajuku culture and style. Sketching and learning about Harajuku girls and their style was something completely new for me. Harajuku girls are all about themeing out an outfit and piling on layers and accessories to complete a look from head to toe. They made for some really fun illustrations including Mixed Traditions (shown above) my favorite illustration of them all, Take it to the Street, and Tokyo Punk, amoung others.
The second book, Girly Girl Style: Fun Fashions You Can Sketch, showcases ultra girly and feminine designs. Similar to the Harajuku book, I was given precise outfit design direction for each look, such as On the Runway, Crocheted Cutie, Style at Sea and Radiant Romper (all shown above) and drew detailed illustrations building a sketch from a loose gesture drawing to polished final illustration.

As I was only hired to illustrate these books and not write or consult as to how to actually build a illustration, I do have a difference of opinion regarding how to render some fabrics and build an illustration. In actuality I don't really draw this way, with this many steps and layers, however these books are for beginners, focused primarily towards tweens, so the illustrations are broken down and made clear. They are fun little books and would make a great gift for any fashion loving tween. The books are being marketed to school libraries, however they're also available on Amazon.

It has been a interesting experience illustrating my first two books. Like many projects it was really a learning process, with ups and downs along the way. Deciding how I wanted my name to appear in the Library of Congress was pretty cool and debating some of the design direction was a challenge, but I'm excited they're out there now. I hope kids enjoy them and hopefully they're the first of many more books throughout my career. Check back next week for a giveaway and your chance to win one!